Illustration of the flag of the United Nations, the United Nations.


Luiz Rampelotto / NEWSCOM / SIPA

As every year in September, world leaders will meet this Tuesday in the UN compound for the General Assembly.

But in the midst of the global crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the voices of Trump, Erdogan, Xi, Putin, Rouhani or even Macron, will not resonate in the vast complex of New York.

The building is almost empty, no leader has made the trip.

Rather than postpone this diplomatic high mass, the organizers have chosen the virtual mode, with recorded videos.

D-1 before the opening of the general debate of the # UNGA.

A session that coincides with the 75th anniversary of the UN & which will be unlike any other due to the # COVID19 pandemic.

Watch history being written live!

- United Nations (UN) (@ONU_en) September 21, 2020

A year without "diplomacy under the table"

For a time, the coming of US President Donald Trump was abandoned.

Speaking in front of a sparse room, where only one masked diplomat per country is admitted, was probably not part of his strategy for the November presidential election.

Several diplomats are worried about this situation: without bilateral, without "diplomacy under the table", how to find solutions, compromises on the conflicts which shake the planet?

On the UN website, the speeches of the 193 members will follow one another for a week, featuring the leaders of the planet: Chinese Xi Jinping in front of a mural of the Great Wall, others in presidential parks or palaces, while some will favor the sobriety brightened up by the flag of their country.

After an introduction by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will speak first, followed by Donald Trump.

Thematic summits (Covid-19, climate, Lebanon, Libya, biodiversity, etc.), also virtual, are planned in the coming weeks on the sidelines of the Assembly.

Trump's disengagement

Faced with the health crisis and countries more inclined to unilateral decisions than to favor multilateralism, the UN has "missed the date", noted many experts, and its General Assembly this year is the illustration. .

On Monday, during a summit dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Organization, the American president was represented by a deputy ambassador of the American mission to the UN, testifying to his denigration of multilateralism.

“The UN must focus on action”, on the contrary demanded Xi Jinping.

French President Emmanuel Macron, for his part, admitted an internal crisis.

“Our common home is in disorder like our world.

Its foundations are eroding, its walls are sometimes cracked under the blows of the very people who built it, ”he said, referring to an“ international system trapped ”in rivalries between countries.

His Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for his part called for “reforming the Security Council” for greater equality in the world.

A request shared by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“We need reforms” with a Germany in an “enlarged” body, according to her.

This week's speeches will tell us if that is wishful thinking.


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